Japanese Olympic golf club to overturn female membership policy

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Kasumigaseki Country Club are to overturn restrictions on female membership after IOC threat to cut Tokyo 2020 status.

The report, which comes from the Guardian, says that the Japanese golf club have overturned their policy after increasing pressure from Olympic officials.

Prior to the decision, the club reportedly had 220 women on their books but they were not allowed to be granted membership or play on Sundays.

Muirfield (HCEG) overturned their no-female policy last week, which draws very obvious parallels with the vote at Kasumigaseki Country Club. The Edinburgh course had been stripped of its position on the Open roster, but were instantly reinstated by the R&A following the vote – and the u-turn from Kasumigaseki CC has similar repurcussions.

Kasumigaseki CC was threatened with the loss of its status as a 2020 Olympics venue if it failed to grant women full membership rights, but now the sudden change means Olympic organisers will not have to find a different golf venue.

The private club in Saitama prefecture held three briefings for its members before it decided to fully admit women, which required unanimous approval from the board, made up of 15 men.

The president of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, Yoshirō Mori, praised the club, founded in 1929, for voting to uphold the spirit of the Olympic charter of non-discrimination.

“I’d like to extend my gratitude to the members of the club for their understanding and cooperation,” he said in a statement on Monday.

The IOC vice-president, John Coates, welcomed the decision: “As we have said all along, gender equality is a fundamental principle of the Olympic Movement and an important part of Olympic Agenda 2020, and we believe this decision now reflects this.”